Heidi Shierholz

Heidi Shierholz leads the Economic Policy Institutes’ Perkins Project on Worker Rights and Wages, a policy response team that tracks the Trump administration’s wage and employment policies. She also heads EPI’s efforts to advance a worker-centered policy agenda.

Articles by this author

This means that stimulating the economy to create jobs is crucial—both to the 33.0 million workers who are being directly harmed by the recession because they are either out of work or have had their hours and pay cut, and to the millions more who saw their bargaining power disappear as the recession took hold. (Photo: Witthaya Prasongsin/iStock/Getty Images) Views
Friday, September 25, 2020
At Least 33 Million Workers Are Being Hurt by the Coronavirus Recession
The most frequent question I’ve gotten in the last few months is “how many workers are being hurt by the coronavirus recession?” There is a huge amount of confusion about this because two major, completely separate, government datasets that address this question are reporting very different numbers...
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"Most people on UI are now are forced to get by on the meager benefits that are in place without the extra payment, benefits which are typically around 40% of their pre-virus earnings," writes Shierholz. (Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, September 03, 2020
Total Initial UI Claims Have Risen in Each of the Last Four Weeks
Last week 1.6 million workers applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Breaking that down: 881,000 applied for regular state unemployment insurance, and 759,000 applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This is the fourth week in a row that total initial claims have risen...
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) conducts a news conference after the Senate Republican Policy luncheon in the Hart Building on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. (Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, August 27, 2020
UI Claims Remain Historically High and the President’s Executive Memorandum Is Doing More Harm Than Good
Last week 1.4 million workers applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Breaking that down: 822,000 applied for regular state unemployment insurance (not seasonally adjusted), and 608,000 applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Some headlines this morning are saying there were 1...
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Cutting off the $600 will also exacerbate racial inequality. (Photo: Witthaya Prasongsin/iStock/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, July 23, 2020
Joblessness Remains at Historic Levels and There Is No Evidence UI Is Disincentivizing Work
Last week 2.3 million workers applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. This is the 18th week in a row that unemployment claims have been more than twice the worst week of the Great Recession. Many headlines this morning are saying there were 1.4 million UI claims last week, but that’s not...
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 Letting the $600 expire won’t just hurt UI recipients and their families, it would hurt millions more. (Photo: Andrew Cashin / MTA New York City Transit / flickr / cc) Views
Thursday, July 16, 2020
With Unemployment at Historic Heights, Congress Must Extend $600 Lifeline to Workers
Last week, 2.4 million workers applied for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. This is the 17th week in a row that unemployment claims have been more than twice the worst week of the Great Recession. Of the 2.4 million workers who applied for UI, 1.5 million applied for regular state unemployment...
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Thursday, June 18, 2020
Over Three Months Into Pandemic and Job Losses Remain at Historic Levels
Last week, 2.2 million workers applied for unemployment benefits. This is the 13th week in a row—a full three months—that initial unemployment claims are more than twice the worst week of the Great Recession. Of the 2.2 million who applied for unemployment benefits last week, 1.4 million applied...
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Policymakers need to do much, much more to fight this recession and set our economy up for a strong recovery, which will not happen without intervention. (Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images) Views
Thursday, June 11, 2020
It's Been Three Months Since Covid-19 Hit and the Economic Pain Continues
Last week, 2.2 million workers applied for unemployment benefits. This is the twelfth week in a row that initial unemployment claims are have been more than twice the worst week of the Great Recession. Of the 2.2 million who applied for unemployment benefits last week, 1.5 million applied for...
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A prolonged depression is virtually guaranteed without significant federal aid to state and local governments. (Photo by Olivier Douliery/AFP/Getty Images) Views
Thursday, May 21, 2020
Congress Must Do Much, Much, Much More to Help Tens of Millions Unemployed
Last week, 3.3 million workers applied for unemployment benefits. That is an improvement over the 6 million per week we saw in late March/early April, but is an increase from the prior week—and is still well over three times the worst week of the Great Recession. Of the 3.3 million who applied for...
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Many of the jobs that have been lost in this recession are low-wage service, retail sales, and office jobs. Views
Thursday, May 14, 2020
In Just Two Months, More Than 33 Million Americans Have Filed for Unemployment
In the last eight weeks, more than 33 million people —more than one in five workers—have applied for unemployment insurance (UI) through regular state UI programs. That is more than five times the worst eight-week stretch of the Great Recession. Some good news is that regular state UI claims have...
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The Congressional Budget Office projects that without additional relief, the unemployment rate will average 16% in the third quarter of this year and 10.1% for the entire calendar year of 2021. (Photo: Getty Images) Views
Thursday, May 07, 2020
Nearly One in Five Workers Applied for State Unemployment Insurance Benefits in the Last Seven Weeks
A previously unimaginable number of workers have applied for state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits as a result of the coronavirus shock. In the last seven weeks alone, more than 30 million workers have applied for unemployment compensation. That is nearly one in five workers. And it is nearly...
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